Israeli front pages Photo:Dvorit Shargal of velvetunderground.co.il
The Israeli press went on steroids over the weekend pushing an attack on Iran, and it’s getting mass coverage.
The push began with Ynet’s report that Israeli P.M. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak advocate an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities this fall, before the U.S. elections in November.
And what about the fact that “not the [Israeli] army command, not the security forces, not even the president - supports an Israeli strike now” (Hebrew edition)? Defense Minister Barak was unmoved. According to Ynet “Barak therefore made it clear that everyone against an attack is free to resign.”
Speaking anonymously, a “senior Israeli official… known for his sharp analytical skills” warns of impending doom.
“The sword at our throat is a lot sharper than the sword at our throat before the Six-Day War,” the official said.
According to the official, if Iran obtains nuclear arms, it will goad its neighbors and adversaries and will be unstoppable. “What happened in the Rhine in 1936 will be child’s play compared to what will happen with Iran,” he said, referring to the entry of German forces into the Rhineland in 1936 in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
“All the moderate forces around us will be significantly weakened and heavy storm clouds will gather over the Middle East. The region will not be the same region and the world will not be the same world, and our lives will not be the same either. We will live under the shadow of a permanent storm,” the official said.
Noam Sheizaf reports at +972 that this “anonymous decision maker” pushing war is none other than Ehud Barak:
Ari Shavit offers a few hints to the identity of his interlocutor (the source is “known for his sharp analytical skills”; has a piano in his living room; was at the center of decision making twice; and more.) It is also widely known that Shavit has very good relationship with Barak; and this is not the first time he has citied the same “senior source” (including a hit job on Tzipi Livni before the last elections). Even Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On wrote on her Facebook page explicitly that the source in Shavit’s article is Ehud Barak.
The daily media roundup by the 7th eye (a media watchdog site) also states that “Shavit’s source is Barak.”
In the interview, Defense Minister Barak responds to arguments made by those opposing the attack. He tells Shavit that Israel will be able to cause considerable damage to Iran’s nuclear program, delaying it for a few years – possibly until the Iranian regime falls; he expects no American guarantee to attack the nuclear facilities next year, and he insists that Israel must attack soon and not hand the problem over to the Americans (according to reports in the Israeli media, the IAF would not be able to cause significant damage to the Iranian nuclear program unless the attack is carried out in the coming months). Barak says:
Naturally, the question becomes ‘Will Obama have Israel’s back?’
Color me suspicious, but what are the chances that the timing of this August impending-doom pressure wave isn’t just a means of revving up American politics? Netanyahu and Barak providing our compliant press with ammunition for Romney via the Emergency Committee for Israel, Dan Senor etc making their job easier?
On Tuesday Haaretz reported there was some “new intelligence information” according to a Western diplomat and Israeli officials. Not to be upstaged by his own anonymous persona Barak went on Israeli Radio and trumped this ‘new intelligence’ which has since morphed into a new US National Intelligence Estimate report claiming the US has learned Iran is even closer to a bomb. Interestingly, this has not been confirmed by the WH but it doesn’t stop tongues from wagging. Rumor has it somebody’s pissed:
— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) August 9, 2012
It just keeps escalating. Case in point check out CNN’s Iran: High stakes nuclear poker game?
Sorry, but I simply must end this with some humor. Will Obama force Israel to attack Iran? Some folks think that’s the question. American Thinker says Obama is being irresponsible by allowing Israel to prepare to attack Iran all by its lonesome:
And therein lies the irony of Obama forcing Israel to put its citizens and soldiers at risk to do something that he should be authorizing the U.S. military to do.